Your Story Matters

For those of you who know me, or have seen my show, you know that I don’t have the best relationship with my mother. We don’t see eye-to-eye about much. Basically, she wants me to be something I’m not — a conservative Christian housewife — and I want her to be something she’s not — … Read More

Go Ahead — End Your Life

Photo by Randy Walker
Photo by Randy Walker

Nine years ago my dear friend walked to the end of the San Simeon pier, climbed over the railing, and jumped in to the icy Pacific Ocean. Her body washed ashore three days later.

Two years ago a relative of mine downed a bottle of Prozac with a fifth of vodka and passed out in her bathroom. She survived, thanks to a random call that woke her husband who found her.

And last month, a kind newspaper reporter I met during a phone interview leaped off Maroon Creek Bridge. He leaves behind a teenaged daughter, a wife, and a confused and grieving community, including several friends of mine of who knew him well.

I imagine we all know someone who has committed suicide, attempted it, or thought about it. Perhaps that “someone” is ourselves.

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Boobs, Butts & TEETH?!?

An entertainment weekly recently wrote a story about my show at First Baptist Church in Denver in November. I provided a photo, and loved the caption they gave it: “Thea Deley, a new face of atheism.” The article focused on the partnership the church’s minister, Brian Henderson, and I had forged around our shared belief … Read More

Bringing the Faith and Secular Communities Together through Theatre

Last weekend we performed my show for the first time in a CHURCH! First Baptist Church of Denver’s minister, Rev. Brian Henderson, invited his congregation and I invited the secular community, and we had a wonderful mix of people in the audience. We asked audience members to stick around after both performances for a Speakeasy. … Read More

You Never Know . . .

What I both love — and abhor — about my show is I just never know how people are going to react. I am, shall we say, always surprised. After one show, a nice Unitarian Universalist contacted me to say he enjoyed my show: “Outstanding! Please let me know when you will be back in … Read More

The Devil in the Dumpster

I live in a small town that once made the Guinness World Records for the most churches per capita. For some of you, that might sound like heaven. For others, hell. For me, it’s become a fascinating study in human nature, a great place to ponder the big questions, like: Do you really need to … Read More

Will Your Christian Parents Ruin Your Wedding?

Catholic-wedding_1Awhile back, a nice lapsed Catholic girl named Heidi came to see my show. Afterward she gave me a big hug, and said she totally identified with my stories even though she was raised Catholic and I Protestant.

Heidi had a question for me. Like me, she struggled to navigate the relationship with her parents since leaving their church. Usually they just agreed to disagree, but lately, well, things had gotten out of hand.

After many years of cohabitating, Heidi and her boyfriend had decided to get married.

“Congratulations!” I said. “Your parents must be thrilled!”

“Um, well, not exactly,” she said, “They want me to get married in the Catholic Church. But I can’t.”

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Mom’s Latest Attempt at Tricking Me into Returning to Jesus

One of the things I admire most about Christians is their perseverance.

Their sheer dedication to spreading the word.

Their absolute and total commitment to converting the rest of us, regardless of how many times we say, “Been there. Done that. NO THANKS!”

Perhaps the queen in this regard is my own mother. Although it has been years since I left Christianity, my mother believes if she just does or says the RIGHT thing, she can finally convince me to return to the fold.

Mom’s prayer? “Lord, give the right words to grab Thea for you!!!”

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I’m Proud to be a Troublemaker

Recently a friend asked me how I’d define a strong and confident woman.

I immediately flashed back to Sinead O’Connor, October 3, 1992.

She was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live. Sinead performed her first song, “Success Has Made a Failure of Our Home,” as planned. Later in the show she sang her second number, an a cappella rendition of Bob Marley’s “War.” Instead of singing “racism,” she sang “child abuse.”

Then she held up a photo of Pope John Paul II and while singing the word “evil,” tore the picture in two. She ended by saying directly to the camera, “Fight the real enemy!”

Stunned, the live audience sat there silently . . .

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Beware These Books

I am so grateful to my local library for warning me which books to avoid! Before those handy little cross stickers, I would sometimes check out a book, get it home, open it up and read such disturbing passages as: “After hearing all that Douglass had to say about Jesus Christ, Reese confessed Him as … Read More